There is no doubt that Panda Express is one of the best fast-food chains when it comes to American-Chinese cuisine. Panda Express has a wide selection of dishes to choose from, including classic favorites such as Orange Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken.
The Panda Express Secret Menu is full of unique items that are only available if you know how to order it. These items are often inspired by popular food items from other restaurants or trends, and are created to give customers a unique dining experience.
Note that not all locations have the necessary equipment and ingredients to make these items. Furthermore, employees may not know the names of these dishes, so having the list ingredients on hand can be helpful.
Founded in 1983 by Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express has built its legacy over the last 40 years. What many people may not know is that Panda Express was started as a sit-down restaurant called Panda Inn.
As their popularity grew, Andrew and Peggy moved into the Glendale Galleria to keep up with their growing clientele. This is the step that led to the Panda Express chain that everyone knows and loves today. Although Panda Express often comes off as an Americanized version of Chinese food, each dish is infused with authentic Chinese flavors from the Cherng’s childhoods.
The Panda Rewards program isn’t a secret menu item, but it wouldn’t be right to leave it out. This program allows you to earn points on all your Panda Express orders, whether or not they’re on the secret menu. These points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards like discounts and free items.
Besides offering points that can be redeemed for food, Panda Express offers a ‘Monthly Good Fortune Gift’ each month that you can redeem, as well as a birthday gift.
While you may not have expected Mexican cuisine to make an appearance on this list, this burrito is truly something special. With the tangy sweetness of the orange chicken mixed with fried rice and chow mein make it a filling and delicious meal to grab on your next trip.
The orange chicken burrito is a fairly popular item, so you may be able to ask for this one by name, but if not, you can ask for their orange chicken in their scallion pancake “tortilla” with chow mein, and fried rice.
We’re not ones to argue that bacon makes everything better, and the Panda Express orange chicken is no exception! The saltiness from the bacon does a fantastic job at bringing an extra layer of depth to an already amazing dish.
To get this, all you have to do is request bacon with your orange chicken! Be prepared to wait a few minutes for your order, as this is typically made to order.
On their menu, Panda express offers both fried rice and steamed white rice, but what is not known to many is the fact that you can get fried brown rice off the secret menu. This is perfect for those who are wanting to make a healthier lunch choice without sacrificing the delicious Panda Express rice.
This is another item that is just simply asking the employee to add. Unlike the bacon, the brown rice should be pre-made, so you won’t have to wait long to dig in.
There’s nothing better than a succulent slow cooked rib, and Panda Express delivers just that. With tender, fall of the bone meat and a delicious chinese barbecue sauce made with sesame oil and chili paste, this dish is truly a must-try off the secret menu.
While this is another easy ask, whether or not you’ll be able to get it depends on if your location still has the slow cooker that is required to make the ribs.
Mexican cuisine is joining the secret menu once again with this delicious take on a quesadilla. This dish is absolutely perfect to satisfy any craving that you can have as it comes loaded with cheese, onions, a delectable sauce, and crispy chicken that Panda Express is known for.
To get this quesadilla, ask for the same tortilla from the burrito, with cheese, onions, your choice of sauce, and their crunchy chicken.
While not every Panda Express location has this, the Panda Express tea bar is worth tracking down. The range of teas on offer is quite extensive, ranging from fruit based and milk based teas, to even customized options with a variety of mix-ins.
This item is fairly easy to get at any Panda Express location that has a tea bar. The tea bar is a great way to enhance your meal and stay hydrated with a refreshing drink.
For those who want to be the first to try potential menu items for Panda Express, the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is the place to go!
The Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is a location in Pasadena, California that serves experimental dishes that are not available on the regular menu. It is the first Panda Express restaurant to focus solely on innovation and new dishes and is constantly changing as the chefs develop new dishes.
In addition to being the place that created many of the secret menu items listed above, there are many items that you won’t find at any other location including the honey sesame chicken shepherd’s pie, black pepper angus steak empanada, and the orange chicken and bacon biscuit sandwich!
Panda Express Frequently Asked Questions
What time does Panda Express open?
Panda Express hours vary by location. Some open as early as 9:00 AM, while others may not open until 11:00 AM.
What time does Panda Express close?
Some Panda Express locations close as early as 9:00PM, while others stay open as late as 11:00PM.
Does Panda Express serve breakfast?
Yes and no. Some locations are open as early as 9AM, which many consider breakfast hours, but there are no designated traditional breakfast items on the menu.
Does Panda Express have vegan and vegetarian options?
While Panda Express does have vegetable based dishes, the entrees are prepared using shared equipment, so there is no guarantee that veggie products may not have been in contact with chicken or beef.
Does Panda Express have gluten free options?
No, Panda Express does not have gluten free products.
Does Panda Express have an app?
Yes, the Panda Express App is available for Apple and Android.
Does Panda Express have gift cards?
Yes, Panda Express has digital and physical gift cards. Gift cards can be reloaded and you can check your balance online.
Can you order Panda Express online?
Yes, you can order Panda Express online or from the digital app.
Does Panda Express deliver?
Some locations do offer delivery with online orders. Others may be available through third party delivery services like Door Dash and Uber Eats.
Does Panda Express have dessert?
Some locations may have limited time desserts like the Apple Pie Roll.
Does Panda Express have soup?
Some locations may serve hot and sour soup, or egg drop soup, but this is often seasonal or limited time only.
Does Panda Express have cauli rice?
No, Panda Express does not serve cauliflower rice.
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Morgan Mulac is a freelance writer who has spent years on the road as a nomad and now has settled back in California with her family. Some of her favorite spots to travel to in California are in Orange County and the many beaches along the coast. She’s an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer.